Schlagwort-Archive: user

Innovation starts with your users…

The best advice I ever received when I was looking to start a consulting business was this:

“To guarantee success, find a need and fill it.”

There is no value in creating products or services for which there is no need. On occasion, an organization will come up with a game-changing product and redefine a whole industry, such as RIM in the early days, replacing pagers with email anywhere, and Apple with its iPhone and iPad, which brought smart devices to the masses. But, for the most part, the businesses that thrive are those who have mastered the ability to identify a need and fulfill it.

It is evident that they excel at anticipating what their customers would need, and when. They have essentially put themselves in the place of the user, and walked through what a successful experience would be. Interacting with these organizations is uncannily intuitive. The website is informative, expectations are clearly defined, there are no unpleasant surprises, and if it is a product, you could likely hand it to a child and they would be able to figure out how to get started.

As you read this, I’m sure you are remembering your own experiences in dealing with companies offering this type of product or service. This may be anything from the great little restaurant you frequent or the car dealer you have bought a second or third vehicle from because you loved the service.

But not all businesses are thriving.

There are far too many companies, service organizations, and manufacturers more concerned with numbers, and specifically how high can their sale numbers reach in the next quarter, than they are with the experience of their customers in interacting with their products.

No one will deny that Apple has made a huge impact with the iPad. Even if you are not an Apple fan, you can’t deny the device is simple to use. I can hand mine to a 3-year old and she will flick and swipe at the screen like a pro to find her games and books.

I got an iPad for my parents (who are in their eighties). A week later, they wanted to buy a second one so they don’t fight over who gets to use it. These devices have opened up a whole new world of opportunity and discovery from the comfort of their La-Z-Boy recliners.

And the best part (for me), I have barely spent mere moments providing them with tech support. When you consider that I’ve had to help them with setting up almost every other device (i.e. their first computer, programming numbers into phones, setting up HD television, replacing the 8-track player with an iPod) this is almost a miracle.

In my role as a CIO, I get to preview and try a lot of different devices, software applications, and computer hardware. I admit that much of what I see leaves me underwhelmed, like the array of slate devices that have come my way recently.
I also know that I would never, ever recommend that my parents use one of these other slate devices.

The iPad comes with the Apple ecosystem. The iPad, while intuitive to use, is like celery – designed to move the dip (or in this case the experience) from the bowl to your mouth. A lot of the other devices are like celery without the dip. The experience runs out of steam pretty quickly.

I am remiss to quote yet another saying by Steve Jobs, but the following is fitting of the streamlined user experience and device capabilities of the iPad:

“You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards for the technology.” (WWDC 1997)

So what can an IT leader learn from this?

It would seem that many of us in IT leadership missed the class on customer experience:

We have a service catalogue but have never defined what a successful experience would look like.
We ask our users to use products and services that we ourselves would never incorporate into our own department.
We launch new technology initiatives without ever consulting the people who will actually have to use the new system.
We get defensive when we are questioned about missing functionality or dismissive when new features are suggested that we didn’t think of.
And on and on…
It doesn’t sound very nice to be a customer of this type of an IT department but, unfortunately, many of our users have these experiences daily.

What is different though is that given the influx of personal devices and cloud- based applications and services, our users now have a choice. For example, marketing departments can set up a contract with SalesForce.com and completely end run your department.

Don’t think it isn’t happening, or won’t happen to you, so let me suggest something:

It’s time to change the way IT is done in your organization.

Dust off your service catalogue; sit down with your team. Take each of these services and discuss what a successful user experience would look like. It’s not about what’s most convenient for your team, but what would make the user experience the best it could possibly be. Talk about how you are going to make it happen. Then do it.

If you start at the end, you are leveraging proven wisdom for running a successful organization.

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Note: A version of this post by the author previously appeared on the IT World Canada website.

Images:  Used under Creative Commons license

About the Author:

I’m the Chief Information Officer for Appleby College, in Oakville, Ontario Canada, where my team is transforming the delivery of education through innovative application of technology. I'm also a beBee Brand Ambassador.

I'm convinced that IT leadership needs to dramatically change how IT is delivered rather than being relegated to a costly overhead department.

In addition to transforming IT in my role as CIO, I look for every opportunity to talk about this… writing, speaking and now blogging on BeBee (www.bebee.com/@kevin-pashuk) , LinkedIn, ITWorld Canada, or at TurningTechInvisible.com.

I also shoot things… with my camera. Check out my photostream at www.flickr.com/photos/kwpashuk 
IT – Information Technology
Kevin Pashuk Kevin Pashuk
Chief Information Officer – Appleby College/ beBee Brand Ambassador • Appleby College and beBee

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How To Plan Mobile App Development for your Business

To create an effective app, it is essential to have a nicely laid- organized process and concept. Preplanning the app development program and development procedure will help in averting deviations from set goals, which can cause dramatic developments to the ultimate product. But, before you carry on, here are a few important things you should know.

Pre Strategy Your Mobile App Development- How can it work? How can it be useful to end users and participate? Thus, the process calls for generally defining the program. Now, why is this significant? When your mobile app developers have a clear understanding of what is expected from them, what are the characteristics the app should have, and what are your targets of mobile program development, it assists in constructing the mobile app that is more important and essential.

Taking this point further, when fair attempt and time is spent in pre-planning your app development process, it may go a long way in eliminating delays, minimizing your overhead costs, and providing the project punctually. Planning not only involves defining the app and its functionalities, but also includes establishing proper targets, timelines, and budget. Lucidity and unnecessary delays are eliminated, thus, reducing overhead costs. Precise price projection is ready with the development and marketing team so that deviations can be identified by them and minimize the exact same.

Pre-planning also helps gain insights into your audience, competitors, and latest market trends. This may be most profitable in bringing innovative and interesting turning points in the essential features of your app. Thus, with valuable market knowledge from an early phase, you are able to successfully build an app that's unique and offers somewhat distinct characteristics than other similar mobile apps in the market. Adding to this, effective communication of the theory with your development partner can help them clearly identify duties and their functions in order that they are able to provide better. Planning also helps to streamline your development procedure, and what it organized to generate outcomes that are better.

Looking to build a mobile app? Not sure how to go in regards to the pre-planning period? Here is a thorough guide for you:

Describe Your Mobile App in a Nutshell – The initial step of pre-planning comprises preparing an incredibly short description of what your app must be all about. Make it as short as possible, but feature the core notion of the app and key features you might be anticipating.

Ascertain the Needs of Your Intended Audience – This really is one of the most crucial points, but it may illuminate many factors that may be valuable in constructing a proper cellular app when done right. For this, it is imperative to recognize your market and know their ‘buying’ behavior and inclinations. It's possible for you to create forums and conversations or connect together socially to take an online survey. This can help incorporate the same in your cell program, and likewise, ascertain the things they exactly anticipate from your program.

Browse through Similar Mobile Apps – It is more easy to locate similar apps in the app store unless your app notion isn’t something in the ‘niche’ category or totally unique. Go through a few of these programs, and find their essential characteristics, how they work, technical aspects, customer ratings, and reviews, etc. This could only help you ideate.

Brainstorm a ‘Powerful’ App Idea – On the contrary to the idea of “Too many cooks spoil the broth, ” when you brainstorm with a group of like-minded people, you happen to be capable of developing ideas that are more innovative and distinctive. But for this, it is important to spot people who can add value to your app thought, and not always like-minded individuals. Brainstorming with individuals from various fields is the best way to create a better outcome and groundbreaking ideas. Make sure you are able to brainstorm from technical and customer, promotion viewpoint.

Produce a Master Record of Outcomes – This may differ from everything you conceptualized in the beginning. Based on your own research and findings from the above-mentioned measures, create a comprehensive list and compare this with the initial concept. In this step, you also had better improvise the brief description on the basis of the most recent changes.

Translate Your Ideas right into a Simple Flowchart – Flowchart or a diagram is the best way to communicate your app idea, workflow, and functionalities. But ensure that you keep it clear, simple and concise for everyone to understand easily. The flowchart should include testing demands, deadlines, budget, etc., characteristics and functionalities, development procedure, roles and duties, QA and the program theory Keep it as comprehensive as you can, if not in a flowchart then in display or a PowerPoint presentation -by-screen navigation of the app.

Conclusion

Preplanning is important for mobile app development, although not the single key to building an effective app. We regularly are inclined to overlook the need frequently or to add new attributes upgrade an app throughout its lifecycle. Give attention to creating user-centric and bug-free continue providing user experience that is improved through additional iterations, and program from its first release. In once, hire an experienced and professional development team who can help assemble the app of your fantasy, and within the set time and budget.

Author Bio
Gaurav Kanabar is a Director at Alphanso Tech an IT Consulting Company. He has developed many web applications over the last 5 years. You can Hire dedicated developers at Alphanso Tech.

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